Release 5.4.5.5 Details

Happy Easter! This morning, we updated WorshipPlanning.com to version 5.4.5.5.  You can find the release notes on our support site, but we wanted to highlight a few of the features in this blog post.

 

OnSong Logo

When you update to version 1.99993 of OnSong, you’ll have access to our latest integration.  With this, you’ll be able to import worship-related files from WorshipPlanning.com right into your OnSong app, where you can then annotate, transpose, rehearse, and even perform.  We’ll be promoting this integration in the next few weeks, so keep an eye out for it.  In the meantime, be sure you check out all that OnSong can do!

 

Last Performed Indicator – Event Flow Page

Last Performed ScreenshotIn the previous release, we added the Last Performed column to the Songs Library page.  With this release, we added this same information right on the event flow page.  The color coded bubbles let you see in a glance when the last time the song was performed.

Red – performed in last 2 weeks
Yellow – performed in last 2 months
Green – performed in last 6 months
Blue – performed more than 6 months ago

Hover over the black “?” icon above the filter field to get a reminder of what the colors mean.  Right now, this date is across all locations.  But we may had the ability to narrow the scope to just a single location.

 

 

YouTube Playlists

YouTube Playlist ScreenshotYouTube links have been a song detail for years (and we even populate our “top songs” list with them).  Today, we make it easier for worship teams to rehearse using a YouTube Playlist link.  The link has been added to the same places that the MP3 and Spotify playlist links were, including Event Flow page accessible by your team when they log in.

 

 

That’s the list of main features for this release.  But stay tuned for another release coming soon!

 

worshipplanning.com + Proclaim, from START-to-FINISH, and BEYOND!

From Start to Finish and Beyond

It is now even easier to create presentations slides for your worship flow details.  After having become acquainted with Proclaim Church Presentation Software some months ago, worshipplanning.com reviewed and shared with our community the significance of this valuable resource. And now we are excited to announce and present worshipplanning.com’s integration with Proclaim!

From Faithlife, the makers of Logos Bible Software, Proclaim launched its presentation software in 2012 with the concept of making worship presentations a team effort that is centralized in the cloud. Proclaim’s user base extends beyond the sanctuary computer, and its collaboration capabilities allow continuous workflow possibilities.

Those of you not familiar with Proclaim will be enthused to hear about this compelling product, and the numerous features it offers making service presentation preparation vastly easier.

With the new opportunity of worshipplanning.com and Proclaim working together, your service will effortlessly flow from START (organizing and planning) to FINISH (production and presentation), and BEYOND with seamless publishing of your service, digital message and sharable media! worshipplanning.com and Proclaim platforms will interact seamlessly by way of a one-time authorization of your worshipplanning.com credentials into Proclaim. worshipplanning.com users will be able to easily import the set list, lyrics, and even song-mapping, allowing Proclaim to turn out the appropriate lyrics to various slides, all while maintaining the theme of your presentation.

For example, let’s say you’ve created a worship flow that looks like this:  

Worship Flow in WorshipPlanning.com

With just a couple of clicks in Proclaim, your songs would be imported directly from worshipplanning.com, in the right order, with the right song mapping, and matching the presentation theme you had already defined in Proclaim for this service.  Notice how the songs lyrics are automatically split onto different slides.

Proclaim Interface

 

Win a Year of WorshipPlanning.com and Proclaim

To help promote the program, worshipplanning.com users will be invited to follow us on a virtual Faithlife group called, “WorshipPlanning”. If you’re not familiar with Faithlife, it’s like a Facebook for churches and much more! On the WorshipPlanning Faithlife group you will be able to read and share tips, questions, product information, and announcements from Proclaim and worshipplanning.com.

By joining our WorshipPlanning Faithlife group (which is free) you will be asked a few questions and entered into our Premier Giveaway Package* to win a free year of worshipplanning.com and a free year of Proclaim! Earn a additional chances to win by simply inviting a friend (or two, or ten!) to join the group.

worshipplanning.com users who sign up for a free trial of Proclaim can also enter to win our Ultimate Giveaway Package**, including a free year of worshipplanning.com, a free year of Proclaim, and access to Proclaim’s Pro Media library!

How do I win?

  1. For a chance to win the Premier Giveaway Package
    join the WorshipPlanning group on Faithlife! Invite friends and increase your chances!
  2. For a chance to win the Ultimate Giveaway Package
    sign up for a free trial of Proclaim!

Learn more about worshipplanning.com / Proclaim integration.

Learn more about Proclaim or Faithlife.

*Premier Giveaway Package includes: (1) free year of our worshipplanning.com Bronze level plan, and (1) free year of Proclaim’s Basic plan. Prize package value exceeds $380, depending on congregation size.

**Ultimate Giveaway Package includes: (1) free year of our worshipplanning.com Silver level plan, (1) free year of Proclaim’s Pro plan, and access to Proclaim’s Pro Media library. Prize package value exceeds $660, depending on congregation size.

Enter now through February for your chance to win. One winner will be chosen at random for each package giveaway. Winners will be chosen in early March. .

 

Free Song: “Night Has Passed (Morning Has Broken)” by The Brilliance

The Brilliance All Is Not Lost 1500x1500

We’re excited to offer you another free song for the next 7 days, in partnership with WeAreWorship.com!

The song is “Night Has Passed (Morning Has Broken)” from The Brilliance’s latest album All Is Not Lost.

CLICK HERE to download the MP3 and the chord charts for FREE! – Oops, the offer has expired. But be sure to subscribe to our blog for future info on free music downloads!

 

Merry Christmas

Christmas Card

 

2016 has been a crazy year for most of the world.  But our Lord is unchanging and provides a constant source of hope and love, despite the circumstances. We know many of you work hard during this (and every) season to reflect that constant hope and love at your church and in your community. Our prayer this Christmas is that you will experience the hope and love of Jesus, not just by being a reflection of Him, but by encountering Him.  And I think I speak for all parishioners around the world in saying: Thank you for being the light of Jesus!

Merry Christmas, from our family to yours.

-tom and the worshipplanning.com team

Proclaim Church Presentation Software Review

Proclaim Church Presentation Software Logo

Proclaim is a church presentation software by Faithlife, the people that also bring you Logos Bible Software.  Proclaim entered the church service presentation scene about four years ago with the idea of leveraging the cloud to store and sync presentations.  Just like building a worship flow, the slides of a service often need to be collaboratively constructed by people that don’t work next to each other, or even in the same physical building.  Of course, these days it is far more than just “slides” being built for a worship service.  And over the years, Proclaim has proven that it can scale to meet the growing functionality needs of small and large churches.

This latest release of Proclaim is version 2, though the version number itself is deceiving because this is a very mature product that feels like it has been around since churches started using projectors. Before I get started, I should mention that while I have many years of experience serving on a pretty technical production team at my church, my primary role has not been on the CG or “lyrics” position.  However, perhaps this can provide perspective appreciated by those not familiar with Proclaim.

Proclaim Main Interface

Ease of Use

Like all maturing products, especially software, the expanding functionality is usually in tension with simplicity of use.  Proclaim seems to have walked this tightrope well.  Anyone having experience with PowerPoint or just about any other presentation software will be able to jump right in and set to work building slides.

Getting started is a breeze.  During the install, you’ll be prompted to create an online account that will serve as the “saving” destination of your presentations (a key detail of the collaboration feature).  You’ll have options to access self-help videos to assist with your first presentation.  But as I mentioned before, I skipped these and didn’t have any problems with building a good looking presentation.

The three main modes of “Edit”, “Preview”, and “On Air” are all intuitive and easy to use with the most typically needed setting visible in place that make sense.  One significant ease-of-use feature is management of external displays.  If you have multiple displays set up with your computer, Proclaim will automatically configure them for projector and confidence monitor, with easy ability to switch as needed.  This can save huge headaches, especially for those that have to set up on a weekly basis.

If for some reason you have trouble getting started and the self-help videos are not enough, users can schedule one-on-one time with a trainer from Faithlife to assist.

Core Features

One of the goals of Proclaim is to make it difficult or impossible to make a bad looking presentation.  Traditionally, bad looking presentation haven’t necessarily been limitations of the presentation software.  Technically speaking, you could make a good looking presentation in Microsoft Paint.  No, bad looking presentations are typically the result of presentation authors either not knowing how to make them look good, or not have time to make it look good.  Proclaim has gone to great lengths to eliminate these hurdles and make good looking presentations the default.

corefeatures

One example of this is how song slides are created from a block of lyrics.  By simply pasting the entire block of lyrics into the lyrics section of a single song slide, Proclaim splits the lyrics into different slides based on blank lines in the lyrics.  Additionally, when you change the style of the slide (font, background, image, etc.), it affects every slide.  So in a matter of seconds, you can have all slides for a song created, consistent, and looking great.  By the way, new with version 2 of Proclaim is the ability to make modifications to individual slides within a song.

When it comes to running your presentation, Proclaim handles with ease the normal flow of well-planned slides, with a few options on how to display and navigate through the slides.  But we all know that worship services rarely go exactly as planned, leaving the presentation operator to do some quick behind the scenes improv, rather than showing the wrong slides or just “going to black”.  The use of Proclaim’s “quick screens” let’s the operator click to configurable screens on the fly (the “configurable” part being new with version 2). Whether it is a spontaneous Bible verse, or an empty slide with a background image, or an animated “AMEN!”.  Operators also have the ability to overlay “Pager” numbers to notify parents of children that need their attention, as well as “Crawl Text” to show other longer, spontaneous messages for everyone to see.

Of course, online collaboration is one of the core features of Proclaim.  As I mentioned above, the presentations you build are automatically synced to the cloud.  So, while the Proclaim program must be downloaded and installed, access to the presentations are seamlessly synced to and from the cloud, with no need to copy files to thumb drives or emailing them around.  Simply configure your team of folks that need to access the presentations, and fire up the application from the desired computers.  And thanks to their simplified licensing, you can install the program on as many computers as you need without having to pay for each copy.

Amazing Extras

There are numerous features that I’d consider to be “extras” in that they go so far beyond what you’d consider standard for presentation software.  In the interest of time, I can only touch on a few of them.  But it’s well worth taking a look at their “Features” page to see all the amazing extra things you can do.

Without even having to leave the Proclaim program, you can access a slew of content for your presentation, from song lyrics, to still background, to motion backs, to video countdowns, and more.  And depending on your subscription level and the content source, some media is included at no additional charge.

Proclaim has a great feature called Signals.  Signals provides pathways for sending to, or interacting with, people (including congregational members) during the service.  For example, if the speaking pastor wanted information pushed to people’s smart phones at a certain point during the message, this can be set up and triggered in Proclaim when a specific slide goes up on the screen.

Or, if the pastor wanted to take a live survey during the message, this could also be pushed to members of the congregation during the service, and the real-time results could be displayed on the screen as people respond.  Honestly, my mind was blown when I saw the demonstration on this.  Signals (built into Proclaim) is the vehicle for this, and a free smartphone app called Faithlife is how information is collected from or pushed to people.

Once the service is finished, Proclaim gives you the option to publish various media from the service, including parts of the presentation, and even an audio recording of the message.  Saving and sharing audio recordings might be something larger churches are already doing.  But the way it is done in Proclaim is so simple, churches of any size could use this feature.  When building the presentation, you just add “start recording” and “stop recording” triggers to appropriate slides.  After the service, there’s a tool for performing minor audio edits (like trimming it up a bit).  Then with just a click or two, the audio can be posted to the web.  It doesn’t get much easier that that.

Conclusion

Whether your are a big or small church, Proclaim Church Presentation Software is an intuitive and yet feature-rich presentation software that goes well beyond just making and displaying slides.  Collaboration is baked into its core with real-time syncing among team members working together from diverse locations.  Integration into media outlets keep presentation designers from having to scour the web for the perfect stills, motion backs, or videos.  And the seamless advanced features will allow your church to interact with your congregation in ways typically only possible by churches with big, tech-savvy production teams.

Proclaim offers a free 30-day free trial for your entire team. This free trial also comes with Pro Media, a collection of more than 10,000 motion backgrounds and still images.

Truly Full of Thanks

Gears Meshing

This past year has been incredible, and unlike any other year in my 40+ on this earth.  As some of you know, early this year I chose to follow a crystal-clear calling of God to leave my full time job and really pour my efforts into WorshipPlanning.com.  Helping churches though WorshipPlanning.com has been a passion of mine since it was first launched over 13 years ago.  But not until February 17th of this year had I felt led to step out of the boat, among the wind and waves, and walk toward Jesus in this manner.

Since then, not a day goes by that I don’t reflect on that decision.  And the reason is, I am so incredibly thankful, everyday, for this opportunity God has given me.  The road hasn’t been straight, easy, and worry-free.  But one thing is for sure: This is exactly where I am supposed to be, right now.  Knowing this feels amazing, and can be described with an illustration of gears.  When gears mesh correctly, the system is in sync and movement progresses as it should.  The gears may be working hard, but they are working together.

This Thanksgiving, I am especially thankful for God providing the opportunity to serve Him in this capacity, and allowing me to hear his voice along the way.  I’m also very thankful for the many wonderful people that God used to provide encouragement.  This includes my courageous family, the incredible people here at WorshipPlanning.com, the amazing ministries and churches that we serve, and my F3Nation brothers that offer perpetual encouragement and accountability.

I sincerely hope you and your family have an blessed Thanksgiving, and a spirit-filled holiday season.

-tom

New “Self Sign-up” For Your Team Members

The v5.4.3 update that recently came out includes a highly requested feature called “Self Sign-up”.   When you enable this for your team, your team members will be able to find and sign up for available roles, on their own, without you having to individually schedule them.  They just log in to MyWP (or access the WorshipPlanning.com mobile web app) and select the “Sign Up” link.  They will then see a list of available roles scheduled for your team, and click the “Sign-up and Accept” button.

Sign Up and Accept

 

They can also do the same on the mobile web app by pointing their mobile device to http://m.worshipplanning.com (http://wplan.me will get them there also).  If they are on a team that has “Self Sign-up” turned on, they will see a new “Sign-Up to Serve” menu option on the main page.  Once they select the desired available role, they’ll simply need to confirm:

Mobile Self Sign-up

We’ve created a brief video for team leaders and account administrators that shows how to enable and use this feature.  It’s easy to get configure, and even easier to for your team members to use!

 

 

Emoji and Non-Latin Characters Now Supported

Smileythumbs-up-sign
When worshipplanning.com launched in 2003, emoji didn’t exist. Instead, Internet users made use of ASCII characters to create “emoticons”.  The database driving our software used an encoding that was considered “best practices” at the time but had fallen a little out of date recently.  This past weekend, we performed a significant update to that database that provides support of “extended” character sets, including emoji, non-Latin-based characters, and “special” characters often used in desktop applications (like fancy quotes or dashes).  So, let your creative emoji juices flow and tell your international friends that worshipplanning.com is now extended-character friendly!

Free Song: “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus (We Turn)” by Paul Baloche

Turn Your Eyes

We’re excited to offer you another free song for the next 7 days, in partnership with WeAreWorship.com!

The song is “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus (We Turn)” from Paul Baloche’s latest album “Your Mercy”.

CLICK HERE to download the MP3 and the chord charts for FREE! – Oops, the offer has expired. But be sure to sign up for our blog to learn about more free music downloads!

Free Song: “Gloria (Our Savior Found Us)”

majesty-in-a-manger_cvr_1500x1500

We’re excited to offer you another free song for the next 7 days, in partnership with WeAreWorship.com!

The song is “Gloria (Our Savior Found Us)” is a track off Majesty In A Manger by Various Integrity music artist, which was released today. This album has Great Christmas themed worship tunes, so be sure to check it out

CLICK HERE to download the MP3 and the chord charts for FREE! – Oops, the offer has expired. But be sure to sign up for our blog to learn about more free music downloads!

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